Silas Eckhardt

Joined: Mar 14, 2021 Last Active: Aug 10, 2022 iNaturalist Canada

I started my interest in insects mostly when my family planted a butterfly bush when I was just a tot (like 2 years old). Maybe it was even earlier, but I don't remember. Between 5 and 14 I was not as interested, but would definitely pay attention to the grasshoppers and butterflies that were around my house. Well, when I stepped into Natural History on the first day of school, it was almost as if the (only somewhat) dormant monster inside of me had woke up.

I have a collection of insect specimens, which I started because, in the same Nat. Hist. class, that was the assignment for the whole 1st quarter. 10 specimens, 25 journal entries. I had 36 specimens and 25 journal entries at the end (wasn't so keen on the writing part). I now have 10 boxes, containing most orders. I think they are ~200 specimens, but maybe fewer. Definitely around there.

I like to take nature photos in my free time. I am borrowing my grandma's Nikon HDSLR 3200, while I save up for my own, a Nikon DSLR 5000. Other than live photos, I use a Plugable Digital Microscope (has camera inside the scope) to take close-ups for ID.

Currently, my favorite taxa to study are the Meloids (Blister Beetles), and ants. I tend to like Tenbrionoidea (blister beetles, darkling beetles, etc) a lot.

I am also a (less avid) bird watcher, amateur herpetologist, and botanist. I like to study the symbiotic relationships between certain insects and plants, such as the intriguing relationship between the yucca moth and the yucca. I like to look at the plants I have in my back yard, and observe (and collect) what insects are associated with which plants. For example, I have Asiatic Dayflower in my backyard. I also have two beetles that are associated with that plant, the Six Spotted Neolema, and Oulema melanoplus. I live in a city (North Church Hill, Richmond, VA), so it is interesting to see which bugs and plants thrive in the urban environment in which I live.

In contrast, I attend a school that is surrounded by forests, hiking trails, and open fields. like to keep track of the plants there, and collect the bugs I find on those plants. I create projects frequently, so I have a lot of them.

I have an account on Bugguide as well, at Please feel free to message me with any questions, comments, or concerns. If you think I have got an ID wrong, do not hesitate to tell me. If there is an observation you want me to see, please tag it.

This is my year in review for 2021.

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